- any kind will work it will only be covered in leather and wont be seen as wide as the grip of your letter opener and about 10 inches long(scrap is just fine).
- any kind really but you must think about the shape you want your letter opener to be (size, width, and thickness must be taken into account) i used a 10 inch long half inch bolt(the best is the kind w/out the threads the whole length. (you can find these at home depot pretty cheap) this is what I used http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Hardware-Fasteners-Fasteners/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xg6Zar9h/R-100337973/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
- between 18 and 20 gauge is best you'll want it to be shiny(I'm using some jewelry wire I got at Michael's craft store it is copper core silver plate wire.) you'll need about 2-4 ft.
- I'm not actually using leather cause I found some nice vinyl at a local fabric store (this is for the handle so whatever size yours is is what you'll need I'm gonna use about a 18" x 1" piece) can be found at any fabric store.
* Sand paper
- 100, 250, 400, and 600 grit
* Steel wool
- Kind: #0000 http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xg6/R-100212006/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
. for finishing can be found at hardware store .
* Steel Buffing compound
- for polishing can be found at a hardware store.
- I used an Mapp-gas torch cause its what I have but a blow torch or a forge would have been better.
* Heavy Mallet
- I used a 3 lb. Mallet.
- coarse, medium and fine.
* Pliers or Vice grips
- to hold the bolt while striking.
* Ear protection
- unless you want a headache (past experience . . . the worst one I've had).
* Heavy duty gloves
- I used welders gloves (to protect from burns).
- or hard heavy metal surface on which to work the metal.
- to rough out surface.
* Buffing wheel
- to polish it.
* Vice -
to hold letter opener while filing.
I did all my shopping at Homedepot